Pay-TV, Broadband Subs Moving in Opposite Directions
by MarketingCharts staff
The pay-TV market is shrinking, while broadband subscriptions are picking up steam, according to a pair of reports from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG). LRG estimates that the top multichannel video providers, who represent around 94% of the market, shed a total of 344,318 subscribers during the second quarter, while the top broadband providers (many also doubling as pay-TV providers) added 294,304 subscriptions during the same period.
Although the second quarter is traditionally a soft one for pay-TV providers, their net loss of subscribers was higher this year than last (325,510). LRG’s figures are similar to those recently issued by IHS, which estimated that pay-TV providers lost 352,000 subscribers during the second quarter en route to the market’s first ever net loss of subscribers during the first half of a year.
While pay-TV subscriber losses accelerate, the opposite is true for broadband subscriptions. In the second quarter, LRG estimates that net broadband additions were 16% greater than in the same period last year.
The opposing trends are most pronounced for cable companies. Among the top cable companies, for example, Comcast lost 159,000 pay-TV subscribers, while gaining 187,000 broadband subscriptions. Time Warner similarly shed 189,000 pay-TV subscribers, while posting a net add of 21,000 broadband subscriptions.
A growing number of consumers also appear headed to fall into the “cord-never” bucket: a new study from The Diffusion Group (TDG) suggests that 18-24-year-olds living with their parents are far more likely to be inclined to sign up for an OTT service than a pay-TV service when they strike out on their own.
If that proves to be the case, the trends illustrated by LRG’s data are likely to continue.